The World of Professional Golf—1968 Edition (World Publishing Company, $10.95) is, like its predecessor, a remarkable book. It was written—or maybe compiled is the better word—by Mark H. McCormack, the attorney-agent for Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, and it is dedicated to the three of them. McCormack's volume is an exhaustive and thorough review of the 1967 pro-golf season, complete with the statistics of almost every pro tournament from Augusta to Auckland.
Care to know what Yoshimasa Fujii shot in the second round of the Singapore Open? This huge 480-page volume will tell you that (lie shot a 69) as well as a great deal more relevant information certain to be of interest to the golf fanatic, which is what McCormack calls himself and his client Palmer. But the book goes far beyond such cataloged statistics. What makes it special are the summaries it includes of the leading championships of the world—the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, etc.—the week by week account of the PGA tour and the roundups of the foreign tours.
Many of these are enriched with details not previously reported. For instance, in the chapter on the Masters, McCormack tells us that Bert Yancey, who led the tournament for the first three days, cut his foot on a broken bottle during the second round of the 1964 U.S. Open, putted out with a towel wrapped around it, then went to a hospital where 45 stitches were taken.
Those who think of Doug Sanders only in terms of gaudy golfing apparel will learn that his cracks are almost as sharp as his raiment. Sample: "Raymond Floyd has great potential, but he has one big weakness. He spends too much time with me."
The chapters on the foreign tournaments are especially interesting since little was written about them in the U.S. press. Reviewing the British Open, McCormack has some interesting things to say about the famous Hoylake course, and the differences between British and U.S. country clubs, galleries, television coverage and even the scoreboard systems. Finally, McCormack recreates Roberto de Vicenzo's victory in the British Open in a way that always gives the impression he watched every player hit every shot. If there is a criticism to be leveled at the book, it is that McCormack spends a bit too much time discussing the players in his own stable, not only Palmer, Nicklaus and Player, but lesser ones as well. But perhaps that is to be expected. After all, without McCormack's players there wouldn't be an awful lot to write about.